Online dating is now the in-thing. You meet a man or woman on social media. You like one thing or two things about him or her and start chatting. Before you know it, you are hooked.
But it is not always that things work out as to lead to marriage. A Facebook user, Olaolu Adedayo fondly called Ogbeni La, shared what he regards as his sweet story with the Saturday Sun. His relationship with his wife, Folasade Akinyemi, was not the only relationship that he had online. But it ended up being the only one that worked, that resulted in the tying of the nuptial knots. They met in July 2019 and were married in December 2019.
“I met my wife on Facebook,” he enthusiastically told you. “According to her, she’s been my follower for almost a year. She’d sent a friend request and, along the line, removed the request because of a post I made that didn’t sit well with her. Anyway, she kept seeing my posts on her timeline as shared by mutual friends and she sent another request, which I unwittingly accepted about two months later. I took notice of her name two weeks before we met. She was constant on my wall with humorous comments. I made an ad post sometimes in July 2019 and her comment compelled me as an ambassador of the ad post to invite her into my inbox. From there, it was as if we were waiting to happen. We chatted all night into the early morning. Six months later, she was in Nigeria to physically meet me for the first time and get legally married to each other. It was like a Hollywood flick.”
Asked what else he did to win her hands in love, he answered: “This is a tricky one. I won’t claim to have gained her trust in any particular way. I didn’t even make effort aside being me. The truth is that she took a wild gamble, or maybe as usual in her life, she knew what she was doing. My Facebook wall where we meet is an open book about me. I think she’d seen enough of me there to trust me or what I stand for even before we finally met and got married. I have had two previous relationships online in the last four years before we met. She didn’t tell her dad. She told only her sister that we’ve met before physically before she left the country. My sisters weren’t surprised. Neither were my parents. They know I always do what I want with myself.”
Ndubuisi Casey’s story seems a bit similar. She said the man that eventually became her husband did not give up when she initially shunned his initial request for Facebook friendship. “That was in 2013. But he didn’t relent! Almost a year later in 2014, he sent another message. I replied this time around and we got chatting. From our conversation, I found out that he was based in Lagos, while I was living in Enugu where I worked at a hotel as a receptionist. It was a transitional job I held while waiting for my NYSC call-up letter. By 2015, I was serving at the University College Hospital, Ibadan, and as our Facebook Messenger chats progressed, I discovered that we were both from the same hometown.
“He made several attempts to get me to visit him during my service year, but I didn’t budge. I honestly still can’t say why I chose never to visit him during my service year. After my service in April 2016, I moved to Ile Ife in Osun State to stay with my sister. One morning while we were chatting as usual, he suddenly asked if I could come visit him. This time, I didn’t hesitate to accept the invitation because I was bored and also job-hunting. I visited him in June 2016 and ended up spending more days than I initially planned. I remember that year, I scheduled my visit to coincide with the Muslim public holidays so that he’d be free from work, but the holiday became extended because the traditional moon wasn’t quickly sighted. That gave him more time to stay home with me.
“When I first saw him, I observed he had a huge chest like someone that works out a lot. I was like ‘Wow, he works out!’ Then he has the cutest eyes I have ever seen; the type you’d want your child to have in common with their dad. I remember my last night with him in Lagos, he asked me, ‘What if I ask you to visit again, will you?’ I told him I didn’t know if I would. But I knew within me that I had fallen in love with him within those few days, and I knew in my heart that I would be visiting again if I was invited. I visited again the following month, in July and the month after, in August. Even when I left my sister’s place in Ife to return to Enugu to hunt for a job, I still found a way to visit him, although my mum never knew where I went all those times. I hope she doesn’t read this!
“I was so desperate looking for a job that even as a graduate, I applied to work at a nightclub. That was when he stepped in and with his assistance, I secured my first job in February 2017. Our relationship wasn’t easy, and we had our fights and our doubts. We even separated for four months in 2018 and thought it was all over and there was no coming back from the breakup; but we got back together in August of the same year. Honestly, I’m not an easy person to be with. But he has a way of setting me straight effortlessly. Initially, I would always resist his entreaties, but gradually I began to see that he meant well for me. He proposed the following month we got back together (September)! We had our introduction and my dowry payment in October 2018.
“There was huge opposition to our coming together because we met on Facebook. This mostly came from my mum. But I didn’t fight her over it. I just encouraged her to get to know and understand him, and now she loves him a whole lot. I moved in with him in 2019 and got pregnant. My mum who desired a proper white wedding was livid, but she later got over it. We had our son in August 2019 and this man still went ahead to give me my dream wedding on December 28, 2020.”
Talking about Facebook, she said: “This platform gave me my family a man I’m crazily in love with and a son whom we love so much. He always stands by me, and he fights for me anywhere and wherever. And that’s what I love most about him – he protects me a lot. You know, no matter how we try to contest it, we all know that marriage changes us; for some it could be a positive change and for others it could be negative.”
Awotedu’s funny gamble
For Mr. Awotedu, a sick joke that ought to have ended for him in a negative way brought something positive his way. “I had copied and pasted a jocular post about me getting married soon and inviting friends on Facebook to grace the occasion,” he recalled. “But at the end, I said there was no bride yet…and people reacted with all sort of comments. She (the woman that later became his wife) too commented with ”oniranu ní ẹ,” meaning “you’re an unserious fellow” in Yoruba. I didn’t object to her assertion. I only told her: ‘if God will catch you, you’ll be marrying me and you just called your future husband a rubbish fellow.’ That was in the last week of June 2017.
“A week later, I made another post about how ladies can’t marry a struggling guy, and as usual, it generated lots of controversial comments. I particularly engaged her comment and we began from there. I went inbox, and she was like, ‘finally… you came here.’ We started talking and within few days, our chat has been like we have been talking for years. It was very easy for both of us to get along: we were both ready; ready for marriage, I would say.
“About a month into our chat and relationship, I paid her my first visit. She lived in Akure with her family and I stay in Abeokuta. It was the most awkward first impression anyone could create with his prospective partner and in-law. I got to Akure past midnight, owing to work, traffic and other automobile issues on the journey. But I didn’t really mind. I’ve not always believed in first impressions anyway. We actually had some clauses to coming together but she said something in one of our discussions that people always neglect faith out of the journey of life, which should not be. I have lived my life on faith; there and then I knew she is the right partner.
“Our parents knew from the onset how we met and didn’t raise an eyebrow about it. But guess what? We realised her church leaders might frown at the idea, so someone suggested we should say we met at a youth programme. I wasn’t a church enthusiast at the time. I wasn’t even going to invite any religious body because I didn’t even have one I was committed to any longer. Her church wanted me to come for interview and counselling but I went once and gave the excuse of long distance, which was true. We started talking on July 1 and got married on December 9 in the same year, 2017. Interestingly, we became friends on Facebook on December 3 2016. Our wedding was traditional and official at the registry. It was fine in its own right. Since getting married, I have been less rugged and less aggressive. We have grown business-wise. We’ve a child, a boy, named Alexander, after the Grecian emperor, Alexander the Great. And we have enjoyed our peace of mind.”
Sour side of online dating
But if online dating worked wonders for some couples and brought joy, happiness and fulfilment into their lives, there were those it brought heartbreaks and sadness. They include Akinbobola Ebun, a young man who met a potential partner on Tinder. He shared with Saturday Sun the feeling he experienced when they eventually met physically.
He said: “I met this beautiful girl on Tinder and for like a whole year we were chatting online and planning our first meeting. I really liked her. She was very beautiful at least “online”: perfect dentition, sweet accent and she had a perfect figure. All these information was gotten from our online chats and video calls. Then one day I told her to let’s go on a date. She picked a really fancy restaurant and, guy, the thing that pained me most was that I bought a suit to make me look presentable, and to also get her to have sex with me after the date. So the gentleman in me sent Uber to pick her from the airport, because she was coming from Abuja. I think I overdid the first impression because what I met when we eventually saw was a total disappointment. I couldn’t help but ask if she uses editing apps for her pictures and she had the nerves to say yes. Oh my God, I was fuming. The only real thing about her was the accent. I was in deep pain but I couldn’t cry out. I just ordered water because my appetite left me. After the meal, she was now asking what next. I just hissed, lodged her in a hotel and left her there. Then I called one of my guys to pick me up. It was a big disappointment and since then, if I don’t meet a girl in real life I’m not doing at all. Experience has taught me something.”
Sandra Okeke also told a similar story of how she was disappointed after she took a bold step and sent a direct message to a man on Instagram based on the posts he displayed on his page.
“There was this time I met this guy on Instagram from my search page, so I decided to shoot my shot because from what I saw on his page, he was rich and handsome. But it took this guy a really long time to respond to my DM. When he eventually did, and we got talking, I suggested we meet in a bar. But when he came over, he was the very definition of catfish. I then asked him who was the person on his page? He said his roommate. I was like roommate ke? He then said he was not all that a social media kind of person. I told him it couldn’t work because he lied about his looks, life and everything. But unfortunately, bro was already catching feelings so I just spent time with him so I don’t look wicked. I realised he had a very good vibe but his looks were not worth it at all. We still talk but never again will I DM guys based on their Instagram posts”.
In the case of Motunrayo Olusesan, she was mad to realise that she is a side chick to a man she met online after three years of being in a relationship with him. “My experience with online dating hurts because I almost got married to him,” she sighed. “I had plans to and he also made plans with me only for me to eventually found out, after three years of dating, that he was married with four kids. In fact, it turned out that his first-born is a 21-year-old lady I fought with while thinking she was making advances towards him. Imagine. I fought with the daughter to leave her father alone. It was so stupid. I was so confused because he told me he was 32 when we met. I asked again only for him to tell me he was 52. When we eventually met I found out that he had been married since he was 27. His first-born came at 29. I was really shocked. To further break my heart, I realised I was his third side chick. I was like how? And I met him on a dating app oh. Since then, there’s nothing anyone can tell me again. I just know that men are scum.”
Lanre Daniel feels the same way as Motunrayo about a girl that he met on social media. He told Saturday Sun the story. “I met this girl on Instagram,” he recalled. “She had a nice figure, very beautiful, so I sent her a direct message, and we got talking. She was so respectful and responsible on chat. And, since I already liked her, I was really ready to take her home to my mum. But when I took her home and she met my mum, she didn’t kneel to greet, so I tried to cover up for her. My mum went to the kitchen to make food for us, but she didn’t follow her. She sat on the chair comfortably, waiting for her to bring food to us. I was already starting to get pissed off but I had to keep my cool and not embarrass myself in front of my mum. When the food was ready, we went to the dining table to eat. But after eating, she couldn’t even say thank you. I didn’t hold it in anymore. I immediately told her to get out. After a few hours, she called and asked why I disgraced her like that. I replied that she doesn’t have respect only for her to respond with: ‘I’m a feminist. So I chose what I want to do.’ I just hissed, hung up and blocked her. She didn’t even understand what feminism was and I don’t think I’ll ever go out with a Nigerian girl claiming to be a feminist because most of them don’t know what it means.”
Source: Sun News